The American Civil Liberties Union and its North Carolina branch announced today plans to challenge
North Carolina's ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
The civil liberties group plans to amend the language in a previous federal lawsuit that challenged the state's ban on second parent adoptions, which is the process by which one partner in a couple adopts the other partner's child.
Fisher-Borne v. Smith
was filed last year in the Middle District of North Carolina challenging the state's ban on second parent adoption. Today, the ACLU is asking Attorney General Roy Cooper to agree to allow an additional claim challenging the state's ban on marriage.
The move comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on United States v. Windsor
, which found that the federal Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional.
One of the couples serving as plaintiffs in Fisher-Borne
is from Durham. Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne (pictured) have been together for 16 years. Each woman carried one of their two children, ages 5 and 1. They were legally married in Washington, D.C., in 2011, but their marriage is not recognized by North Carolina law.
"Our children have two parents who love them dearly," said Chantelle Fisher-Borne in a press release. "Our children deserve the security of having both Marcie and me as legally recognized parents, and marriage is the best way for us to provide that to them."
If the Attorney General's office does not agree to the addition of the new claim, the ACLU will petition the court to allow the claim to be added.
Also today, the ACLU filed a federal challenge to the marriage bans in Pennsylvania and Virginia.